5 Candidates Vie to Replace Carolyn McCarthy

Five candidates on both sides of the aisle have expressed interest in replacing Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) since she announced her plans to retire, setting up likely heated primary battles this summer.

The crowded field of hopefuls that has emerged in recent weeks so far includes three Republicans and two Democrats, but only time will tell how many will be on ballots for the June 24 congressional primary elections. One party leader has vowed to let party faithful decide for themselves at the polls.

“There is the possibility of a primary contest for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 4th [congressional district],” Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs recently wrote in an email to committee members, referring to McCarthy’s seat. “I have decided NOT to take a position in this race, should there be one.”

Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) threw his hat in the ring Wednesday after Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, a Garden City resident, announced her plans to run in January.

Members of the Nassau GOP have been lining up behind Bruce Blakeman, the former presiding officer of the Nassau legislature and current Long Beach resident, who announced his candidacy last month.

Legis. Francis X. Becker (R-Lynbrook), who lost to McCarthy in 2010 and ’12, said he wants to try again. So has Frank Scaturro, a lawyer from New Hyde Park who Becker beat in a GOP primary for the same race two years ago. Scaturro lost on the Conservative line in that race.

McCarthy, a gun-control advocate who took office in 1997 after her husband was murdered in the Long Island Rail Road massacre, endorsed Rice.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), the lone Republican among the five-member Long Island delegation in the House of Representatives, endorsed Blakeman.

President Barack Obama won 63 percent of the vote in McCarthy’s district in ’12. The district stretches from New Hyde Park in the northwest corner to Jones Beach State Park to the southeast.